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Scotland FA Cup - Match Prediction: Kilmarnock VS Saint Mirren
Match Time：4/27/2021 02:45 Tuesday (GMT+8)
Scotland FA Cup -- Kilmarnock VS Saint Mirren
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Kilmarnock will have their sights set on a successful end to a challenging campaign as they prepare to do battle with St Mirren in Monday's Scottish FA Cup quarter-final at Rugby Park.
Tommy Wright's men advanced to the last eight courtesy of a 3-1 last-16 win over Montrose, while St Mirren overcame Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2-1 to set up one of the four all-Premiership contests.
Kilmarnock boss Wright has affirmed that he will do everything in his power to keep Kyle Lafferty at the club beyond the summer, and it is easy to see why, as Northern Ireland's second-highest goalscorer struck three times in a resounding 3-0 Scottish Premiership success against Dundee United on Wednesday.
With seven points taken from their last three games in the league, Kilmarnock are giving themselves the best chance possible of staying up and are now two points ahead of Ross County in the relegation playoff spot, while Hamilton Academical are five points behind Wright's men with three games remaining.
Unsurprisingly, Lafferty was also in target as Kilmarnock eased to a 3-1 success over Montrose in their most recent cup fixture - a result which followed a comfortable 4-0 thrashing of Stenhousemuir - and Wright has now witnessed his side win four and draw one of their last five in all competitions.
Such a rich vein of form will inevitably aid them in their bid to avoid a bottom-two finish, but an appearance in the semi-finals of the Scottish FA Cup could very well signal a new era for the three-time cup champions, who last lifted the trophy in the 1996-97 season.
Wright's prolific attacking forces have scored at least two goals in their last five games across all competitions, and Kilmarnock have been presented with a prime opportunity to reach the semi-finals of the Scottish FA Cup for the first time since their 1997 triumph, but St Mirren will have a thing or two to say about that.
Jim Goodwin's Buddies also enter this match off the back of a successful result in their league endeavours, as they condemned relegation-threatened Ross County to yet another defeat with a comfortable 3-1 triumph on Wednesday.
Lee Erwin, Ilkay Durmus and Jamie McGrath all struck in the second half after Jordan White had put Ross County into the ascendancy before half time, and that performance was the perfect way for St Mirren to end a three-game winless run in the league and gain some momentum before their quarter-final.
After cruising past Hamilton in their inaugural cup fixture of the campaign, St Mirren did not have it all their own way against Championship outfit Inverness in the last 16, but they ultimately progressed thanks to goals from Kristian Dennis and Marcus Fraser - with the latter netting in the 89th minute during a 2-1 win.
The three-time Scottish FA Cup champions fell at this stage to Aberdeen last season but will feel that a semi-final appearance is certainly on the cards this time around, and their last appearance in the final four came all the way back in the 2008-09 campaign, where they lost to eventual winners Rangers 3-0.
Kilmarnock and St Mirren still have to face each other one more time in the league on May 12, and both sides boast a win apiece from their three Premiership meetings this season so far, with the other tie ending 1-1 at Rugby Park.
Kilmarnock Scottish Cup form: WW
Kilmarnock form (all competitions): LWWDWW
St Mirren Scottish Cup form: WW
St Mirren form (all competitions): LDWLWW
Kilmarnock boss Wright is blessed with a fully-fit contingent for the quarter-final, and rotation could be on the cards given his options for change, but Lafferty will certainly continue to lead the line.
Greg Kiltie also made the net ripple alongside Lafferty in the last-16 win over Montrose, and he will be eyeing a recall after being left on the bench against Dundee United.
Arsenal loanee Zech Medley will also hope to earn a start in the heart of defence, but Wright's men will have four days to recover before facing Motherwell and can afford to go strong.
St Mirren are not so fortunate on the injury front, as Ethan Erhahon, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Ryan Flynn all missed out against Ross County, so Goodwin's hands are somewhat tied in midfield.
Former Kilmarnock man Eamonn Brophy is making good progress in his recovery from a fractured foot, but Goodwin thinks that next weekend's clash with Hamilton is a more realistic aim for the 25-year-old.
Sixteen-year-old starlet Dylan Reid is also taking time out to focus on school exams, but Collin Quaner could come into Goodwin's thinking after making a quicker-than-expected return from injury against Ross County.
Kilmarnock possible starting lineup:
Doyle; Millen, Broadfoot, Medley, Haunstrup; Power, Dicker; Burke, McKenzie, Kiltie; Lafferty
St Mirren possible starting lineup:
Alnwick; Fraser, McCarthy, Shaughnessy; Tait; McAllister, McGrath, MacPherson, Durmus; Erwin, Dennis
Kilmarnock vs St Mirren
Kilmarnock 2-1 St Mirren
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